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Former Chief Weapons Inspector Busted in Child-Sex Sting; Missing Woman`s Father Speaks out about Husband`s Move; One-on-one with Tila Tequila

Aired January 15, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, shocking and revolting behavior, allegedly caught on a Web cam. The former chief weapons inspector for the United Nations busted in a child sex sting. The allegations are downright horrifying, Scott Ritter accused of pleasuring himself on camera for what he thought was a 15-year-old girl. He`s a father, a husband and a former Marine. And this isn`t the first time he`s faced this kind of controversy.

Also, outrage in Utah. A mother`s missing, and her husband is on the move. Disturbing developments in the search for Susan Powell. She vanished more than a month ago. Now, her hubby has left the state and taken the kids. Why isn`t he searching for his wife? Does he know something we don`t? We`ll talk to Susan`s devastated father.

Plus, an ISSUES exclusive. I`ll sit down with the one and only Tila Tequila. The controversial Twitter queen joins us tonight. Her fiancee, Hollywood heiress Casey Johnson, died suddenly two weeks ago. Now Tila is in the center of a media storm. What does she have to say about all of it? And what`s up with those pregnancy rumors? We`ll ask her.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The former chief weapons inspector for the United Nations busted in a child-sex sting.

Scott Ritter was a highly respected U.N. official who became famous arguing, correctly as it turns out, that there were no WMDs, weapons of mass destruction, in Iraq. Now he`s at the center of a completely different storm. Tonight, he is an accused child predator.

Detectives say Ritter was trolling chat rooms looking for cyber sex with teenage girls. He allegedly started chatting up a girl named Emily. Cops say he then turned on his Web cam and sent her explicit videos of himself, allegedly masturbating on camera, even after she told him, "I`m just 15." Cops say what Ritter didn`t know was that Emily was really an undercover detective.

The father, husband and former U.S. Marine has now been charged with felony unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and indecent exposure.

Reporters swarmed his house. Ritter would not comment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wondering if we can talk to you about some charges that have been alleged against you.

SCOTT RITTER, FORMER U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: No, I`m sorry. There will be no comment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any statement you`d like to make at all?

RITTER: No, ma`am.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ritter is the father of two teenage daughters, and -- get this -- this isn`t the first time he`s been accused of something like this. More on that in just a moment.

Now, straight out to my fantastic expert panel: former criminal investigator, Steve Kardian; psychologist Brenda Wade -- we need you tonight, my dear; criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh; and investigative reporter Michelle Sigona of But we begin with "New York Daily News" reporter Phil Hutchinson.

Phil, dare we ask, what is the very latest?

PHIL HUTCHINSON, REPORTER, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": The very latest is that Mr. Ritter has been charged with felony counts that could carry seven years in prison if he`s convicted.

And what we understand, that this occurred back in February in a small town in Pennsylvania called Barrett Township, where police were doing an undercover investigation into the cyber predators, trolling for young girls. And that`s where police found Mr. Ritter.

It was a male police officer posing as a 15-year-old and came under contact with Mr. Ritter, and began to chat with him in an explicit manner. And she told him twice that she was 15 years old. And at one point, he turned off his Web cam but then again turned it on and fondled himself in front of her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say this is caught on tape? They have the tape of this?

HUTCHINSON: They have a tape of this. Not only do they have a tape of this. They have his cell-phone number, which he provided to this person named Emily, who he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One last question for you before we move on to the rest of our panel. You said February this happened, allegedly. Why are we just hearing about it now?

HUTCHINSON: This happened in February `09, and he was charged in November. And it took a while for the police to get his records.


HUTCHINSON: They had to subpoena his records, and that`s why it took so long in order for him to be charged. He was arraigned on Monday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is not the first time Scott Ritter was caught up in an Internet sex sting. Back in 2001 he was accused of setting up a meeting with a 16-year-old girl at a Burger King. Well, guess what? She was also an undercover officer. But he was never charged. Now, here`s what he had to say about that back then.


AARON BROWN, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: Did you ever go into an Internet chat room looking for teenage girls to have a sexual encounter of any sort with? How about that?

RITTER: Aaron, I will respond the same way, this way until Sunday. I was arrested in June 2001...


RITTER: ... charged with a class B misdemeanor. I stood before a judge and the case was dismissed. The file was sealed, and I certainly wish you and everyone else would respect that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That case was dismissed. The "New York Post" reports Ritter was allegedly caught a second time that year in a similar case involving a 14-year-old girl, but he was never charged. Want to point that out.

Now at the time, a longtime U.N. weapons inspector reportedly blamed his 2001 sex sting arrest on his criticism of the Iraq war. What do you know, Michelle Sigona?

MICHELLE SIGONA, MICHELLESIGONA.COM: Well, that is something that he did speak out and say, back at that time, back in 2001, and in 2003. But since that point, here we are now, in 2010, and then allegedly these charges have come up back just about a year ago at this point.

And I do want to point out, Jane, that the Barrett Township Police Department, they only have six police officers, and one detective does these stings on a part-time basis and just so happened to be in the chat rooms. They`ve been able to take down 20 predators since they started this part-time sting back in 2007. So this is just great work that they are doing to move forward in this.

But I do want to mention that this starts at home. This is not, obviously, your unemployed person sitting at their basement that is, you know, trolling these sites to prey on children. These are obviously educated people that are going on and targeting kids.


SIGONA: And that`s why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing, and to be able to educate them on the steps and the signs if they are going to be in these chat rooms.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You make a good point. We`re going to play the "Catch a Predator" in a second that is a hit show on NBC that showed very clearly that our concept of a predator ain`t what the reality is out there, that the stats show that it`s middle class, married men quite often.

Now, Mark Eiglarsh, here`s what I don`t get. It seemed like he dodged a bullet in 2001. Would you think that, hypothetically anyway, somebody who was accused once of doing something untoward on a chat room would stay as far away from chat rooms and doing things like allegedly masturbating in chat rooms on camera, given that they got away with it, once, allegedly?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You would think. Alex, I`ll take "People Who Just Don`t Get It" for $1,000.

These types of people keep me employed.

And again, allegedly. We don`t know if this is true. However, when they`re alleging that they have him on videotape having fun with himself, he`s got some significant problems. Prosecutors not only think this is severe because of the images that they`re going to find on his computer, but it`s a whole other level when you`ve got someone who`s actually acting out on his fantasies, as he was doing. That`s going to lead to some significant prison time.




KARDIAN: Jane, you talk about, you know, addictions, and this type of an addiction is un -- it`s an unquenchable thirst. These guys, they look at -- it`s like they haven`t eaten in two days, and there`s a steak in front of them. They get this urge; it`s uncontrollable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, a tofu steak in my case. Go ahead.

KARDIAN: Having a computer in his house is like having a bar in an alcoholic`s basement. It`s something he`s going to go to. He`s going to go back to and he`s going to repeat, and they do come from all walks of life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, he`s not been convicted of anything.

Go ahead, Brenda Wade, psychologist. We need you.

BRENDA WADE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Exactly. Jane, you know this. This is exactly the definition of addiction: someone who can`t stop performing compulsive behavior. They feel absolutely compelled, no matter the risk to themselves, the harm to the child that they`re interacting with. And you know the harm ripples down for generations. This doesn`t stop with whoever that child was, if there was a real child.

And what I really want more than anything, Jane, is for us to get the legal system to understand that, if someone is accused of a crime like this, even if it`s dismissed, that`s a person who needs treatment and who bears watching, because most likely we`re dealing with an addict who will do it again. And child sexual exploitation is the most damaging of all exploitation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to my big issue. All of you, think about this. My big issue tonight: higher responsibility. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Ritter publicly argued against the Bush administration, saying Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, and he was right. He became a popular anti-war figure.

CNN`s Rick Sanchez recently interviewed Ritter about Afghanistan, and ironically, they talk about the truth at that time. Listen to this.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: What was it like for you knowing, I guess, in your heart of hearts, that you were making a sound argument and having people call you all kinds of names for essentially being a truth teller?

RITTER: Well, I mean, there`s two aspects. One is the human aspect. I think anybody who holds claim to being a human would say it hurts to have people come at you that way, especially if you know what you`re doing is right, fact-based, and you`re doing it for the right reasons.

You know, I didn`t have an agenda. I wasn`t running for office. I wasn`t trying to -- you know, to hoodwink anybody into doing anything. I simply was asking for a fact-based debate when the stakes were so high: the lives of American servicemen and women. As a former Marine, I take those lives extraordinarily serious, especially we talk about issues of war.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now this guy is an accused predator. Bill Hutchinson, isn`t there a responsibility that goes up -- goes along with standing for such an important cause? Isn`t he essentially possibly tainting the cause that he proposes to speak for?

HUTCHINSON: Well, I think you`ve got to separate the two issues here. I mean, in his -- in his public life he was doing one thing, and in his private life, as so many other people do, they are completely different.

And I just -- one other point I want to make. He did go through some sort of counseling in that 2001 case. And I`m not sure what it was, but it was some sort of counseling, and obviously, it didn`t work.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everybody stay right where you are.

Tila Tequila will talk exclusively. Tila Tequila is going to talk exclusively to ISSUES, coming up. I`m going to ask her rumors that her engagement to billionaire heiress Casey Johnson was all for show.


TILA TEQUILA, REALITY TV STAR: You buried my wife without letting me say good-bye to her. She`s not happy with that. Now, I can visit her grave, sure, but I won`t get to see her face.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: First a former U.N. official caught in an online sex sting. Can Scott Ritter dodge child predator charges a second time?



POLICE CHIEF STEVEN WILLIAMS, BARRETT TOWNSHIP: During the investigation, Ritter`s conversation was sexually explicit, and Ritter sent the purported 15-year-old minor a link to his Web cam. We actually didn`t alert him to who he was until just prior to the actual arrest.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Once a respected U.N. weapons inspector, Scott Ritter now finds himself under the gun. He is accused of turning on a Web cam and masturbating on camera for the purposes of communicating, if you might call it that, with a 15-year-old girl. But that girl turned out to be an undercover cop.

And guess what? This is reportedly not the first time this man has been linked to a child-sex scandal.

Brenda Wade, psychologist, he has two teenage daughters. What must they be going through right now?

WADE: That`s so devastating to even think about what they`re going through, Jane. Because we know that they must feel shame, all kinds of feelings of complete humiliation.

And this, again, proves the power of addictive illness. If you`re a father of teenage daughters, if you`re a husband, only a compulsion that is literally an illness would lead you to repeat these actions over and over and over again.

Now, counseling alone will not treat addictive illness. You know that. It has to be counseling and a 12-step program where there`s consistent support, a spiritual awakening, and somebody who`s gone down the road ahead of you to show you the way. And I don`t think he`s ever had that combination. He needs treatment, and his daughters...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are so right, Brenda Wade. It`s not just therapy; it`s a recovery program. Because if you think in 12-step lingo, this is a sign, if it`s true, of spiritual bankruptcy. So a spiritual problem requires a spiritual solution.

WADE: Absolutely, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ll tell you what. America has to reconsider its perception of what predators look like. The hit show "To Catch a Predator" aired on NBC, and it caught all types of guys in the act. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, please, this will destroy my career.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you do for a living?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finishing my -- finishing up in the military.

CHRIS HANSEN (voice-over), HOST, "TO CATCH A PREDATOR": Also among the more memorable visitors, these two men, who walked into our home naked.

(on camera) What are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made a mistake.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Host Chris Hansen even caught a rabbi hoping to meet a 13-year-old boy. Our image of a predator -- Michelle Sigona, you did so much work on this -- simply does not reflect the reality that it`s often the average, middle-class and yes, married man.

The stats show one in five children 10 to 17 years of age get unwanted sexual solicitations online, and the perpetrators are often married men sitting on the couch surfing the Net.

SIGONA: You`re absolutely right, Jane. And that`s what parents at home need to recognize. That`s why your children should not be in their rooms with their computers holed up in the corner. They should be in the living room to where you can walk past.

And you need to sit down and explain to them, look. If you`re going to go into these chat rooms, you`re going to go on these Web sites, don`t use your full name. Use a mock screen name. Don`t give out your cell- phone number.

Obviously, in this particular case, there was a cell phone number, allegedly, that was given. Obviously, in this particular case, allegedly there`s a video that was shown.

If these kinds of things pop up on your children`s computer, they need to notify you immediately and to recognize, don`t be curious about this, kids. If this happens, this is a crime. Mom and Dad need to know about it. We need to go to the police and notify them immediately.

There are -- Net Smarts through the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, they have a great program.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to show you a protest that I -- I shot this video myself. I was given an award because ISSUES does the war on women in Portland, Oregon. And there I was at this sex-trafficking conference. And I decided to shoot this video, because people are protesting out on the streets of Portland, which has become a hub of sex trafficking.

And these are average Americans just taking to the streets saying, "Enough. We are tired of these young girls, often runaways, being forced into prostitution." And isn`t this part of the larger problem?

And I`ll go to Steve Kardian, because you did an undercover investigation into problems involving women at bars. But all of this stuff is interconnected.

KARDIAN: It`s -- it`s very much interconnected, Jane. It`s all a part of what is the bigger problem, and the bigger picture in the United States and across the world with human trafficking, with the Internet and our computer age that allows these predators to spread their tentacles, if you will, and prey upon our young. So you`re exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mark Eiglarsh, final word: does -- does he have any defense? Could he say, "Hey, I was doing this, but I wasn`t directing it at X, Y, Z"?

EIGLARSH: He can say that. It`s not going to prevail.

Two words: plea bargain. Probably that`s what we`re going to see in this case. He`ll spare his family any further embarrassment and get the lowest possible sentence that he can get.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Coming up, an ISSUES exclusive interview with Tila Tequila. She`s been at the center of controversy since her fiancee, heiress Casey Johnson, suddenly passed away, tragically, two weeks ago.

And straight ahead, a woman is missing. Her husband packs up and moves out of state. What is her dad saying?


JOSH POWELL, HUSBAND OF SUSAN POWELL: We just miss her and we want her back. And I love her and my boys love her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are they doing?

POWELL: They`re doing OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any idea what happened to her?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," surreal developments in the case of a missing Utah mom. If Susan Powell ever returns to her Salt Lake City home, she will not find her family waiting for her. That`s because her husband Josh has packed up and moved to Washington state with their two sons.

Why not stay and help look for your wife? Even Josh`s own sister is upset about the move. Listen.


JENNIFER GRAVES, JOSH POWELL`S SISTER: At this time, we`re supposed to be focusing on trying to find Susan, and I think the place is here with us in Salt Lake, looking for Susan.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan vanished nearly six weeks ago. Josh says he was out camping at night in freezing conditions with their two young sons when she went missing. Family, friends and police have all openly questioned his story.

Will Josh`s move affect the investigation? And what does Susan`s family think about all of this?

I`m very honored to have with me today Susan`s father, Chuck Cox.

Mr. Cox, thank you. And I know this is a nightmare that you`re going through. I have to ask you first of all, sir, what was your reaction when you heard Josh was picking up and leaving town?

CHUCK COX, SUSAN`S FATHER: It was hard to believe. I was very disappointed that he was leaving town. If there was a place where Susan would come back to, I would think it would be that house. And I don`t understand why he would want to leave that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been nearly six weeks since your daughter went missing, and there are so many questions, particularly about that camping trip Josh claims he took the very night your daughter disappeared. Let`s look at it.


KIIRSI HELLEWELL, SUSAN POWELL`S BEST FRIEND: It`s absolutely unexplainable. I cannot understand it. And I know everybody`s having a hard time believing it. I am myself having a hard time believing it, even though I`m Josh`s friend and I want to stand by him.

ASST. POLICE CHIEF CRAIG BLACK, WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH: His lawyer has told us that there are questions that he would prefer Josh not be asked at this time.

CAPT. TOM MCLACHLAN, WEST VALLEY CITY POLICE: He has not really been that forthcoming, or making himself available for us to interview him and get clear and direct answers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mr. Cox, when was the last time, to your knowledge, that police spoke to Josh? What are police telling you about this search for your daughter and the investigation in general?

COX: I think about three days after my daughter went missing, like the third interview, I think that`s the last time he`s talked to them. I don`t understand why he`s not helping us to find her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, apparently, law enforcement says they can`t even find out exactly where he went camping. That`s one of the questions. He also rented a car after the story broke and logged several hundred miles on it. He hasn`t explained, according to published reports, where he went.

Are police -- what are cops telling you about the direction this investigation is headed?

COX: Well, I`ve been speaking with the police, and they`ve been keeping me informed of what`s going on. They are -- they are making sure they rule out every possibility that -- rule in, rule out every possibility, investigate every tip that they get.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are they still searching for your daughter, physically conducting searches?

COX: Yes, they are still physically conducting searches for my daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And have you participated in those?

COX: Not physically on the ground, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want you to know we`re going to stay on top of your story and do everything we can to bring your precious daughter home. Thank you, Mr. Cox.

COX: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, an ISSUES exclusive with Tila Tequila. The Twitter queen is talking to me exclusively.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Plus, an ISSUES exclusive: I`ll sit down with the one and only Tila Tequila. The controversial Twitter queen joins us tonight. Her fiancee, Hollywood heiress, Casey Johnson, died suddenly two weeks ago.

Now, Tila`s in the center of a media storm. What does she have to say about all of it?

And what`s up with those pregnancy rumors? We`ll ask her.

Tonight, I will go face to face with the young woman who calls herself Tila Tequila. Twenty-eight-year-old Tila is the one-time girlfriend and fiance of billionaire heiress Casey Johnson.

Casey died tragically at age 30; her body was found in her L.A. home by her maid almost two weeks ago. We still do not know the official cause of death, and we won`t until toxicology reports come back. But that hasn`t stopped rampant speculation.

Tila -- and we`re going to meet her in moments -- shared her theory about Casey`s death with RadarOnline.


TILA TEQUILA, FIANCE OF CASEY JOHNSON: I definitely know that Casey - - that it was not a suicide.

I know it was an accident. I know it was a mixture of most likely her sleeping pills with her diabetes.

She definitely had trouble sleeping, but when she slept with me and when I held her, she would wake up and say, "I have never slept so good in my life."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tila is no stranger to controversy and she is coming under fire from Casey`s friends who say her Internet videos and Twitter tweets are inappropriate in the wake of a tragic death. So I`ll let Tila address all of these controversies during this ISSUES exclusive.

Meanwhile, we have to say a spokesman for the Johnson family tells ISSUES they have absolutely no comment.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tila, thank you for joining me. Hi there.

TILA TEQUILA: Thanks for having me. Hi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have one request, all right?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No tweeting during the interview? Deal?

TEQUILA: Deal. My phone is out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. All right.

Now on to a very serious matter. You spoke about your belief that Casey died from a lethal combination of sleeping pills and complications from her diabetes. There`s been so much talk, published reports that she struggled with alcohol and drugs. Did you ever witness her abusing drugs, either prescription or illegal?

TEQUILA: I definitely, when we first got engaged, she moved into my home and that`s when I saw her taking a lot of pills with her diabetes. I knew she had diabetes and I`ve never experienced anyone with diabetes before with all those syringes so it kind of scared me a little bit. But she taught me about diabetes and what I should do if she ever wanted to see her and what not and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you saying essentially that -- yes, go ahead.

TEQUILA: As for all other pills, I had no idea what they were. She had them in her pillbox that her doctor has prescribed them to her. I had no idea what they were. She wouldn`t tell me what they were.

I asked her what they were and she wouldn`t tell me. And it was just then like, you know, those little pillboxes that`s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, whatever. And she would have like five pills in each, you know, locket and I never knew what it was and I asked her.

I was very concerned. I said what is all these -- all these pills that you`re taking because you really don`t need to.

And in the beginning, she was, I admit, taking a lot of pills. I don`t know what they were, but they`re a prescription that her doctor prescribed her and along with her diabetes.

But after we got engaged for a while then she slowly stopped taking all the pills because sleeping -- I found that her sleeping with me at night really soothes her and calms her down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get to that. Let me talk a little bit about your relationship with Casey. TMZ is reporting that two of Casey`s friends claimed that Casey herself called them to say that her relationship with you was, quote, "all for show". Those friends also claimed that Casey said she met you only three days before the infamous engagement video shot on December 9th.

What`s more, Tila, TMZ spoke to a friend and said you were actually in the room when Casey made those calls. So when exactly did you meet Casey? How long did you know her before you shot that video announcing your engagement? How many days?

TEQUILA: Well, ever since the case of her came out with -- I know -- the TMZ sources are very invalid. It`s two girls -- and those -- it`s the same two girls that charged Casey, you know, with burglary charges.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just ask this question. December 9th, ok, that`s when the engagement video was shot so I`m just asking you when did you meet Casey? Give me a date, I mean, if it`s June? Because people are saying three days before so just give me your -- I just want to hear what you say is first when you met her? And how you met her?

TEQUILA: I met her when I immediately first heard about the charges that were pressed against her for burglary charges. That`s when ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What day are we talking though, what day?

TEQUILA: Whenever the burglary charges were so I`d probably say...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, what not, did you meet her in December? Did you meet in November? The reason is, ok, I`ll move on.

People are saying that you didn`t really have a genuine relationship with her. I mean if you -- if you`ve known somebody for a couple of days or a couple of weeks and then you get engaged to them in a very public fashion and then they die tragically. And you go on and start Tweets -- Tweeting about your wifey, which, in fact, you weren`t married, you guys were engaged, according to the video. People are basically saying you`re trying to take advantage of a tragedy to get attention and to get media.

What do you say to that bottom line charge?

TILA TEQUILA: Well, first of all, it`s not very uncommon that two people meet, they fall in love for the first -- you know, love at first sight, they get engaged very fast and you know that they`re the one. There`s plenty of other Hollywood people that have fallen in love. For example, Khloe (ph) and Lamar (ph), they got married in under a month, immediately, very quickly.

But with Casey and I, we did that but it was harder for us to get married immediately because the, you know, gay law is not -- you know, it`s not legal out here in Los Angeles.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you about that. I just want to ask you a question. And -- and, listen, I want to give you props (ph) for -- for what you have accomplished. You`ve written two books. You`ve been on a hit show. You`ve created a social networking site that is the envy of major corporations.

You`re only 20 years -- 28 years old and you`ve done a lot. So I`m giving you props for that.

TEQUILA: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there are those who believe that you`re trivializing some very important issues. As you just mentioned, there are people who want the right to get married and they feel that all of this circus surrounding Casey`s tragic death and you referring to her as "wifey" is trivializing that issue.

There are those who want to adopt and they feel all the controversy, which we`re going to talk about in a moment, about Casey`s adopted daughter. And you`re saying maybe you`re pregnant, maybe you want to adopt, maybe -- they`re feeling that that is trivializing that important issue.

What do you say to those critics?

TEQUILA: First of all, the only people that know what went on -- how Casey and I had a relationship, is Casey and myself. We both called each other wifey all the time and so it`s hard to speak about her and say my fiance or my soon-to-be wife or -- because I was so very used to her -- to calling her wifey. You know, you know how people call each other baby, boo, their nicknames, pookie-pie (ph) or whatever. Well, Casey and I called each other wifey. And so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let me ask you this question.

Now, you say, according to TMZ, you last talked to Casey on December 28th.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently there was an argument and -- ok, then I`ll just say what I -- what I`ve been told and you correct me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently there was an argument. Casey`s last Tweet, which has been widely reported, was on December 29th, the next day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, of course, she was tragically found dead on January 4th.

So there are those who wonder, if you were so close to her and the police say she could have been dead for days, why not try to spend New Year`s Eve with her?

There is this gap of time and people are wondering well, if you were that close, why weren`t you around?

TEQUILA: I actually last spoke with her on the 30th, late, late on the 30th. And we had gotten in a fight a few days before that over her dogs, because I said, "Casey, your dogs are pooping all over my bed and Elvis is not trained and it`s -- they`re a bad influence on my dog, which is trained." Because once they poop all over the house, my dog, which is trained, start pooping all over the house. And they started peeing on the -- the pillows.

So we got into a little argument about that, but it wasn`t a big deal.

And the last thing -- you know, we made up. And the last text I ever got from her was, "Yes, ma`am, I love you." And that was the last text I got with her. I spoke with her on the 30th. And then I had to fly back to Texas for New Year`s Eve.

And I said you know what, I am going to leave town for a little bit to take care of the family business, which is something private between Casey and I and my family.


TEQUILA: And I said within those...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were out of town on New Year`s Eve is what you`re saying?

TEQUILA: Yes. I flew out on the 31st.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you came back...

TEQUILA: I came back immediately when I found out about Casey`s passing, three and a half hours.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tila, thank you -- thank you for taking some tough questions and hang in right there. There`s a lot more to talk about.

We`re going to be right back with our exclusive interview with the one and only Tila Tequila.



TEQUILA: Tonight, my beautiful girlfriend had just asked me to marry her. And check out this rock. Casey Johnson and Miss Tila Tequila are now officially engaged.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That infamous engagement announcement was streamed live online on the Web site back in December. I am back with an exclusive one-on-one interview with Tila Tequila. Tila was the fiance of heiress Casey Johnson who died suddenly at the age of 30 just about two weeks ago.

And Tila, I`ve got to hand it to you, I`m asking you some tough questions and we are basically trying to give you an opportunity to give your perspective on all this.

A lot of people feel that you are, for lack of a better term, an addiction -- an attention addict. That you really crave attention and that at a certain point it doesn`t really matter what it`s about as long as you get attention. What do you say to those critics?

TEQUILA: I think that is very unfair and not true at all. Because I cannot help it if everything that happens in my life they tend to follow it. I don`t ask for them to. It`s not like I planned -- it`s not like I knew my wife was going to pass away, it`s not like I knew...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No but I guess -- I guess it`s like the 160 tweets in the wake of her death.

TEQUILA: Well, you know what? I -- in case people have forgotten, I was discovered -- this was how I started my career. Remember I was the MySpace queen. That`s because I was the same way, I was always, you know, tweeting, you know -- on MySpace, I was always posting blogs, bulletins, I was very vocal. I`m always, I love to interact online and that`s just who I am.

And a lot of people have an addiction, whether it`s drugs, alcohol, or whatever else. My addiction is the Internet. I have a very bad addiction to the Internet, and I know that. So sometimes I`ll ask my assistant to kind of change my password to lock me out for a while and then after a few hours I`m like, all right, let me back in. Because I have a very -- I`m very addicted to the Internet. I`ve always been. And, you know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, you have almost four million friends on MySpace, and that`s one of the reasons...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... why you`re famous. So you`re saying you`re not an attention addict, you`re an Internet and tweeting addict?

TEQUILA: Yes. I`m addicted to the Internet and the instant, you know, by tweeting, you get an instant response from a live interactive community as opposed to me sitting at home, by myself, in my bedroom, in my house, without the presence of my past -- my fiance.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have said that you are a loser. You tweeted, "I am a loser, I have no friends."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Everybody`s telling me to stop tweeting and grieve with my family and friends but I have no friends and family." What did you mean by that?

TEQUILA: Exactly what I said. You know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have no friends?

TEQUILA: I have no friends. I don`t...


TEQUILA: Ever since -- I came from Houston, Texas and the only friends I have there is one girl, which I grew up with since I was 11, but she lives in Houston, Texas and it`s not like I can call her at 4:00 a.m. because of the hour difference, and she has a job and you know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, I mean -- really, you`re a famous, very attractive young woman. You`re 28, everybody -- why would you have no friends? And that brings me to my big issue, every night I talk about a big issue.

And tonight my big issue is who is Tila Tequila? And I want to start with a clip of you and your new music video. This is from your Web site,




VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So I want to try to find out who is Tila Tequila. Now, I went on Wikipedia. Correct me if I`m wrong, here`s what I found out. You were born in Singapore to French/Vietnamese parents. You do have a brother and sister.

You moved to Houston at a young age. They sent you to boarding school because you were combative. You began to use drugs and get involved with the wrong crowd. And you said that you had feelings of confusion because of various personal family and environmental issues and would pound the walls until you passed out.

Now, can you identify what your trauma is, what your initial trauma is that created all of this?

TEQUILA: It wasn`t necessarily boarding school; it was more like a school for juvenile delinquents, for kids who were misunderstood. And they put me into that school because I had got into a fight with a guy and the guy hit me.

And growing up, my life was very, very -- I had to grow up at a very young age. At a young age I had to be an adult and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Why did you have to grow up at a young age?

TEQUILA: Because my family -- they`re actually Vietnamese. My great- great grandfather is French, but I`m actually both my parents are Vietnamese, and I speak fluent Vietnamese.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about your childhood made you have to grow up so soon? What happened?

TEQUILA: Because my family, they`re immigrants. They came to America during the war to escape the war. So when we came here we -- my family didn`t speak English, my parents we`re worried about trying to speak English, trying to get a job wherever they could to -- to support my family.

And so, pretty much, I had to grow up at a very young age to help my family make money...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, inappropriate behavior -- that you were forced to do something inappropriate?

TEQUILA: No, no, no, no, no. I mean I would help them work at the swap meet (ph). They worked at the flea markets. So by the time I was 11 years old, I never got to experience -- like, for instance...


TEQUILA: ...I would love to go to the pool and swim or something. But I never got to experience that. Until this day, I don`t know how to swim, because ever since I was a child, I didn`t have -- I missed out on all the childhood things that children got to do. I had to work with my parents every weekend at the flea market.




We`ll be right back in a moment.



TEQUILA: I said what is all this -- all these pills that you`re taking because you really don`t need to. And in the beginning she was -- she was, I admit, taking a lot of pills. I don`t know what they were but they were a prescription that her doctor prescribed her and along with her diabetes.

But after we got engaged for a while, then she slowly stopped taking all the pills.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Tila Tequila talking about her fiance, Casey Johnson, the billionaire heiress who tragically died at the age of 30. We still do not know why she died. There was definitely, however, a culture clash between Tila Tequila and some of Casey`s friends.

Listen to what Tila told RadarOnline.


TEQUILA: She was so excited -- so excited to start a new life with me. She was slowly cutting her own friends out slowly, one at a time. She actually wanted to live in Paris and you know. And I said why and she said, "I just want to get away from everything. I want to get away from everybody. And I just want to be with you and our children and our family and get away from all of them," because she didn`t want to raise her children like in this area when everybody is just shallow and fake friends.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, there is also a lot of talk, Tila, coming from you, according to reports I`ve read, that there is a baby, perhaps, on the way. You`ve talked about becoming a surrogate mother for your brother and his wife. And there`s rumors that you might be pregnant.

Tell us what -- what all the baby talk is about.

TEQUILA: Initially, I was going to become a surrogate mother for my brother and his wife. I spoke to him that night. Casey was there. We all spoke about it. We were all very excited. And I was going to keep it a secret for a while.

But now that she`s gone, I -- I feel like I have nothing left, you know, because all these plans were made for her and myself and my brother told me that he -- he didn`t want me to do that for him.

And I said, why? I really wanted to do this for you and your -- you know, his wife. And he said I don`t want you to go through this. You know, it`s ok. You know, and we love you and we can`t wait to meet you and Casey. My family adores her.

And so I said, "Ok, well, if you ever change your mind, let me know, but I`m very ready."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re not pregnant at this time?

TEQUILA: Not with my brother and his wife`s child, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you pregnant at all, with anybody`s child?

TEQUILA: Possibly, yes.


TEQUILA: Well, I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you know...

TEQUILA: ...I feel like I will announce the news when it`s the right time, because right now there`s a lot of stress going on and a lot of media frenzy about Casey and I and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when you say you`re possibly pregnant, what do you mean there?

I`m -- I`m trying to get my mind around this. Now, you`re -- were you artificially inseminated?

TEQUILA: I just don`t want to jinx anything right now, you know. I just don`t want to jinx anything. So I don`t want to say.

But I do -- I can say that I am very excited to be a mother and I will reveal that information very soon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So you`re just -- that`s -- we`re out of time.

Thank you, Tila.

Please come back soon.

TEQUILA: Thank you.